Now we know what Nexon was building up to when it shared the human interest factoid that 75 percent of MapleStory marriages end in annulment. The company announced Ascension, an update and expansion that includes a complete revamp of the free-to-play game’s wedding system and new features to make staying married more attractive.
Nexon also said that MapleStory Adventures, a Facebook iteration of the game, has already exceeded 3 million registered players since its Jun 16. debut. In addition, it closed the beta test of Wonder Cruise, Nexon’s second Facebook game, in preparation for its launch late this month.
Just like in the real world, getting married in MapleStory is more than just a declaration of love. A $25 license is required, as is an engagement ring that can only be acquired by completing a series of challenges, but the happy couple gets wedding gifts, special powers and other benefits that help them thrive in the online world. Divorce is expensive, costing 500,000 mesos (the in-game currency) and the sacrifice of the rings, but as MapleStory producer Crystin Cox pointed out, “at least our players are not on the hook for alimony. Couples who break up are not required to split up their loot, virtual pets or any enchanted items.”
Once Ascension goes live on Sept. 28, Nexon said married couples will be able to, “Shower your partner with devotion in new quests to renew your vows periodically, and MapleStory will shower you with gifts!” There are several other new features too, including a system of “party quests” for which a spouse would be useful, and additional storylines in Monster Park.
The company reports 26,982 North American marriages in 2010, which anyone interested in the pay-to-play business model will work out totals $674,550.
Nexon America, the North American business unit of Tokyo-based Nexon Co. Ltd., announced on Aug. 17 that its second quarter revenuehad climbed 38 percent over the same period in 2010. Its revenue in first quarter 2011 showed a 59 percent increase over first quarter 2010.
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